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Usiminas, CSN Extend Gains on Steel Price Boost: Sao Paulo Mover

Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA and Cia. Siderurgica Nacional SA, the largest Brazilian producers of steel used in the auto industry, rose to the highest in more than four months after boosting steel prices.

Preferred shares of Usiminas, as the Belo Horizonte, Brazil-based company is known, rose 6.2 percent to 10.96 reais at the close of trading in Sao Paulo, the highest since April 12. The stock, which had trading volume two times three-month daily average today, extended gains in the past four trading days to 17 percent. Sao Paulo-based CSN gained 6.3 percent to 8.88 reais.

Usiminas informed clients in Brazil it’s increasing domestic prices for flat steel by as much as 7.6 percent as of today, a person with knowledge of the decision said, declining to be named because the change isn’t public yet. That follows moves by ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, and CSN, which were seeking to boost prices in Brazil this week for a second time in 2013 to strengthen profit margins, a person with knowledge of the plan told Bloomberg News on Aug. 14.

Usiminas’s press office in Belo Horizonte said the company doesn’t comment on pricing policy.

“This price increase gives investors some hope steelmakers will be able to improve their results after performing poorly this year,” Pedro Galdi, the chief strategist at Sao Paulo-based brokerage SLW Corretora, said in a phone interview today.

Gerdau SA, Latin America’s biggest steelmaker, advanced 5.8 percent in Sao Paulo to 17.20 reais, its highest in six months, after HSBC Holdings Plc. raised its recommendation on the stock to the equivalent of buy from neutral.

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